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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Three's A Charm For Professor Patrick McKnight

Courtesy of WOWSA, Mount Everest.

Professor Patrick McKnight of George Mason University attempted to climb Mount Everest twice, the first in April 2014 and the second in May 2015.

After he was stopped by avalanches and earthquakes, he turned his athletic focus on setting the fastest turnaround time to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

Between July 12th and August 15th 2016, Professor McKnight successfully completed the Triple Crown within 34 days breaking the 35-day record set in 2008 by Rendy Lynn Opdycke. Video below shows the ending part of his 34-day journey.

After completing a crossing of the Catalina Channel on July 12th in 11 hours 4 minutes, a July 21st crossing of the English Channel in 12 hours 54 minutes, and a circumnavigation swim around Manhattan Island on August 15th in 7 hours 31 minutes, he then turned his focus again towards his eccletic interests including skiing, open water swimming, sailing, research and data analysis, reading, programming, running, cooking...and mountaineering. He had unfinished business to take care of.

On his third attempt of the highest mountain on Earth, Professor McKnight summited Mount Everest on May 18th 2018, becoming the 10th person in history to achieve the difficult Peak and Pond Challenge that requires a person to swim across the English Channel and summit Mount Everest [see McKnight at the summit above].

Ten members of the Peak and Pond Club include the following individuals:

1. Hugo Rodríguez Barroso (Mexico) - accomplished twice
* Mount Everest summit in 1997
* English Channel crossing on 13 August 1986 in 13 hours 0 minutes
* Mount Everest summit on 6 May 1999
* English Channel crossing on 26 August 1993 in 13 hours 4 minutes
* Mount Everest summit in 2000

2. Eric Blakeley MBE (Jersey)
* Mount Everest summit in May 1997
* English Channel crossing: 24 August 2003 in 20 hours 30 minutes

3. Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos (Greece)
* English Channel crossing on 5 August 2000 in 9 hours 20 minutes
* Mount Everest summit in 2004

4. Matthew J. Williams (UK)
* English Channel crossing on 22 September 2010 in 15 hours 25 minutes
* Mount Everest summit on 23 May 2008

5. Bill Borger Jr. (Canada)
* English Channel crossing on 9 September 2000 in 12 hours 11 minutes
* Mount Everest summit on 12 May 2011

6. Boguslaw Ogrodnik (Poland)
* Mount Everest summit on 18 May 2006
* English Channel crossing on 27 July 2014 in 20 hours 33 minutes

7. Gabriel Viti, Jr. (USA)
* Mount Everest summit on 22 May 2010
* English Channel crossing on 7 August 2014 in 15 hours 50 minutes

8. Allan McLeland (USA)
* English Channel crossing on 28 September 2008
* Mount Everest summit on 23 May 2017

9. Jason Snell (UK)
* Mount Everest summit on 15 May 2016
* English Channel crossing on 23 September 2017 in 16 hours 30 minutes

10. Patrick McKnight (USA)
* English Channel crossing on 21 July 2016 in 12 hours 54 minutes
* Mount Everest summit on 18 May 2018

Courtesy of Brendan Cooperkawa showing Professor Patrick McKnight swimming past Roosevelt Island and toward Mill Rock to finish the 2016 20 Bridges Swim.

Copyright © 2008-2018 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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